Saturday, March 29, 2014

homemade yogurt

Hi friends.  Recently I saw some instructions online on how to make yogurt in the crock pot.  I love using my crock pot, so this sounded like something I'd like to try.  The only ingredients you need are milk and plain yogurt with active cultures.  Last weekend I made my first attempt.  Alas - it was a total failure!  The yogurt did not thicken AT ALL!  I even tried reheating it, but it curdled, so I drained off the whey and used the 'cottage cheese' in some lasagna. 

Now I am not someone who would normally try again when my first attempt is an utter failure, but this just seemed like it should not be that difficult.  I thought maybe that I did not get the temperature correct, so I forced myself to take another shot. 

Yesterday, I started the batch and after the time given for the milk to heat, I put my candy thermometer in and could see that it was nowhere near the temperature (around 180 degrees) it was supposed to be, so I added anywhere from 1/2 to 1 hour at a time and kept testing the temperature.  I'm not sure exactly how long I cooked it, but eventually it was within about 10 degrees, so I went to the next step, which was cooling it back down to around 110. 

The next step was adding in the yogurt and then wrapping the crock pot up in a big bath towel and leaving it sit for 8 hours or overnight. 

This morning when I removed the towel, I was excited to see SUCCESS!  YAY!  I drained off the whey and put my yogurt in some pint jars.  I will most definitely do this again. 

Some of the sites talked about cooking down the whey and making a kind of cheese.  Since I had all the whey from my previous batch, plus a small amount from this one, I put them together and went for it. 

I cooked it for hours (during which time someone in the house rather loudly complained about the smell) and finally, it had cooked down enough to carmelize and thicken.  I let it cool a little and then I tasted it.  Rather salty and almost a 'vinegary' flavor.  Certainly not what I was expecting.  I don't think I'll try this again.  Next time I'll just toss the whey. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 


Erica said...

Sounds yummy and a real money-saver. Any idea about how to make Greek yogurt, which is all the rage these days?

Alaina Ellington said...

You can make greek yogurt by following the steps to make yogurt and then use a cheesecloth to strain the yogurt. :)

Starla said...

Interesting. I remember my dad/mom making yogurt when I was little. I cannot recall if they had a yogurt maker or if they used some other method. I'll have to ask my dad!